Geography Seminar:
Book Talk: For the War Yet to Come: Planning Beirut’s Frontiers

Date

Feb 21 2020

Time

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location

Tillet Hall -- Room 246
53 Avenue E, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8040

Speakers

  • Hiba Bou Akar

    Dr. Hiba Bou Akar is Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. Her research focuses on planning in conflict and post-conflict cities, the question of urban security and violence, and the role of religious political organizations in the making of cities. Bou Akar’s recent book, For the War Yet to Come: Planning Beirut’s Frontiers, published by Stanford University Press in 2018, examines how Beirut’s post-civil war peripheries have been transformed through multiple planning exercises into contested frontiers that are mired in new forms of conflict. It contributes to planning thought by studying planning practice within a framework of past and anticipated violence. Her first co-edited book, Narrating Beirut from its Borderlines, published by Heinrich Böll in 2011, incorporated ethnographic and archival research with art installations, architecture, graphic design, and photography to explore Beirut’s segregated geographies. Bou Akar’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Wenner- Gren Foundation, and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS). More Information about Dr. Bou Akar

Book synopsis: Beirut is a city divided. Following the Green Line of the civil war, dividing the Christian east and the Muslim west, today hundreds of such lines dissect the city. For the residents of Beirut, urban planning could hold promise: a new spatial order could bring a peaceful future. But with unclear state structures and outsourced public processes, urban planning has instead become a contest between religious-political organizations and profit-seeking developers. Neighborhoods reproduce poverty, displacement, and urban violence. For the War Yet to Come examines urban planning in three neighborhoods of Beirut's southeastern peripheries, revealing how these areas have been developed into frontiers of a continuing sectarian order. Hiba Bou Akar argues these neighborhoods are arranged, not in the expectation of a bright future, but according to the logic of "the war yet to come": urban planning plays on fears and differences, rumors of war, and paramilitary strategies to organize everyday life. As she shows, war in times of peace is not fought with tanks, artillery, and rifles, but involves a more mundane territorial contest for land and apartment sales, zoning and planning regulations, and infrastructure projects.

Date

Feb 21 2020

Time

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location

Tillet Hall -- Room 246
53 Avenue E, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8040
X

Organizer

Dept of Geography
Website
https://geography.rutgers.edu/